T Nation

HR and cardio realization

I received a HR monitor for Christmas. I had never figured I needed one. I just thought that I could guestimate my HR for the range I was looking for, be it 65%-75%, 80-90, what have you.

I started toying with the thing and it all started well. Found my resting HR to be in the low 40’s, and in the 50-60 range for just regular everyday activity.

I then programmed in my target range and set out for a session of cario in the 65-75% range and received a slap in the face. What I had been guessing to be in this range was way off. I had been exerting much more than I should have. Once I got my HR elevated it simply took a light, what I guess you could call, walk/jog pace to keep it in the target range. It didnt even feel like much of a workout. I did test my HR manuallly thinking the monitor might be off, but it was dead on.

With that said, I am thinking this has most likely led to my losing to much LBM while cutting/maintaining, and hindering growth while bulking and trying to limit BF/LBM gains? The whole two step forward one step back analogy.

I would suggest anyone who doesnt allready have one to spend the $30-$40 to get one. I figure that is worth possibly hanging on to some of that hard earned LBM.

I just figured there might be others out there like myself that estimate their hr for cardio that might find this interesting.

Also, wanted to hear if anyone else has experienced this type of realization?



Heart rate monitors are a useful tool, don’t get me wrong.

That having been said, I will also say the THR formula that is built into the monitor does not take your fitness level into account. Most computations are based on the Karvonen formula which is skewed if you are in good-excellent cardiovascular condition.

LBM could possibly be sacrificed at high intensity levels, especially bouts of longer duration. I used to “over-cardio” and found my muscles flat and weak. But I do beleive that cardiovascular fitness is an important part of overall physical fitness. My personal solution is to cut back on duration/frequency of cardio but maintain intensity.

I realized a long time ago thatany sort of cardio in general took away from my strength and size. Did I stop doing cardio because of that? No!

I cycle which type of cardio I do. If I am really trying to add muscle size and strength for an event, I back off on the cardio in general.

Over all, however, I usually do three days of cardio per week. I give direct work to my heart and lungs in this manner for health purposes. Also, I feel like I have energy to burn when I am combining weight training with cardio.

I own the Polar heart rate monitor, which kind did you get?


It is a sportcraft. Doesnt have all the bells and whistles, but it has the hi end low end alert so it is easier for me to stay in target zone, and seems to work good.

Even better now that I stopped by a medical supply store and pick up some gel for the sensors.

It show the average HR over the time you set among other nifty doo dads.


Are your goals to be in the fat loss zone?

Are your goals to be in the fat loss zone? [/quote]


Glad you found that amusing Thunder.

Why the low heart rate zones? I don’t think there are many “crossover effect” disciples around here, except for Lonnie Lowrey.

I didn’t really see any goals, what are you trying to achieve.